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Full text of "Verdict On India"

LOOSE ENDS
that suggests itself to this propaganda is "Oh yeah ?* For it is an
unfortunate fact, more marked in modern India than in any other
part of the world, chat once you have taken a young man away
from Ms village you will need a good deal more than wild horses bo
get him back again. He would rather starve, and frequently does*
These scattered notes are, of course, entirely negative, and are
only intended as a corrective to ihe airy nonsense which is so
often -calked at home, particularly by young schoolmasters them-
selves, who appears to labour under the delusion that it is a penny
faus-ride from Srinagar to Trichinopoly.
On the positive side volumes might be written; I will content
myself by expressing a purely personal opinion... .namely, that
the problem will have to be tackled by revolutionary methods, in
which the radio and the cinema will be predominant and will,
indeed, largely replace the school-teachers themselves. Needless
to say, such schemes would be only temporary. No machines
could ever usurp the role that must eventually be played by human
teachers, but machines could at least serve the initial purpose of
^breaking up the thick crusts of ignorance which have accumulated,
through the centuries, over the minds of the Indian masses.
LANGUAGE
Nothing more violently annoys the Congressman, with his 'One
India' complex, than thg reiteration of the simple fact that there
happen to be 225 languages in India. It is, admittedly, a mislead-
ing fact, as we shall see, but it drives him to invent replies that are
even more misleading, such as the fantastic statement, quoted
above, that *a speaker in Hindustani can go anywhere in India
and make himself understood.* He might 'make himself under-
stood5 with his feet, or his hands, or the contents of his pockets,
but most certainly not with his tongue (unless, of course, he put
it out).
There are 225 languages in India, but a large number of them
are local and unimportant, such as the tribal dialects of the
Tibeto-Chinese speech-family, which are found only on India's
morth-eastern fringes. For all practical purposes the main Indian
languages number fifteen. Try a& you may, the Congressman
cannot reduce the figure lower than that.